Our organization is home to employees who have a tremendous amount of dedication and heart, and each day, you strive to provide quality care and compassionate service to all who walk through our doors.
Over the years, our staff members have played a vital role in the transformation and evolution of health care as UF Health has moved medicine forward. Many of you have witnessed dozens of changes as we’ve grown. You may have ushered us into the new millennium, adapted through the transition from handwritten to digital information and been here as we expanded with new hospitals and programs over the years.
You have helped us reach countless milestones for the organization — and our leaders enjoy celebrating your personal milestones as well. Each year, we recognize and celebrate employees who have been part of our work family for a decade or more at the UF Health Shands Milestone Service Awards Banquet.
“The banquet is one of the many ways for our organization to give thanks to our long-term employees,” said Kristi Gaver, UF Health Shands Human Resources Employee Relations event planner and project coordinator.
On March 8, 725 employees gathered to be honored at Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Special tributes, the red carpet treatment, photo opportunities with ‘rock stars,’ a DJ and a cocktail reception were all part of the festivities.
This year, one of our biggest featured stars was 45-year honoree Janet Espenship, UF Health Shands Radiology business assistant.
A carpool karaoke video featuring hospital executive leaders singing and goofing to hits was a crowd favorite this year. Who wouldn’t love seeing one of our male, mustached vice presidents belt out a Taylor Swift song while wearing a blond wig?
Laughter and celebration is a deceptively light approach to recognize long-term staff, many of whom devote their entire careers and make significant contributions to UF Health. Our leaders enjoy giving back and saying thank you in person.
“It was fun to watch the guests’ faces in the audience and see them singing along with the music and enjoying the presentations,” Gaver said. “People are impressed that their organization goes above and beyond to make their employees feel appreciated and special, and that was our goal for the banquet.”